Archive for November, 2011

Unsolved mysteries in the intestinal crypt

Author: Angela C. H. McDonald, 11/29/11

The intestine is an amazing organ. In fact, when I am not reading research related to my thesis, I read about the stem cell population that maintains our gut, the intestinal stem cells (ISCs). And sometimes, the reading reveals most unusual mysteries. ISCs have their work cut out for them. They must renew the lining…Read more

Early data promising for first clinical trial using human cardiac stem cells

Author: Ben Paylor, 11/23/11

  A week of highs and lows for the global stem cell community brought with it a healthy dose of optimism for cardiac stem cell researchers. Pilot data from Dr. Roberto Bolli and colleagues’ landmark SCIPIO (Stem Cell Infusion in Patients with Ischemic CardiOmyopathy) clinical trial, published in The Lancet last week, provides much needed…Read more

Not all doom and gloom: Major investment in UK stem cell therapy initiative

Author: David Kent, 11/17/11

While many researchers will feel disheartened by last month’s ruling in the Court of Justice of the European Union that prohibits scientific research patents on human embryonic stem cell products (see Ubaka Ogbogu’s article), it seems some positive news is emerging from Europe as well. Specifically, the United Kingdom has recently promised a huge investment…Read more

Finances halt first-ever FDA approved human embryonic stem cell clinical trial

Author: Angela C. H. McDonald, 11/16/11

The stem cell community was shocked to hear Geron Corporation’s announcement on Monday that the company will immediately discontinue its stem cell programs including its much-publicized Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of spinal cord injury. Following a strategic review of costs and regulatory hurdles involved with their stem cell program, Geron has decided…Read more

New York loves stem cells

Author: Lisa Willemse, 11/15/11

Art shows are not exactly routine activities for those who work in research, let alone in the field of stem cells. So when an art exhibit that examines our perceptions of biotechnology and stem cell research opens in New York, it’s something of an occasion. Even more so if New York embraces the show right…Read more

Cancer stem cells revealing their many secrets

Author: Lisa Willemse, 11/08/11

Last week, Statistics Canada released a report with figures detailing the cause of death in which it noted that, for the first time, cancer had eclipsed heart disease as the leading cause of death in every province and territory in the country. According to the report, cancer accounted for 30% of all deaths in Canada…Read more

Better, faster biomaterials design with high throughput technology

Author: Angela C. H. McDonald, 11/03/11

In the body, cells receive instructive signals from their niche, but how do researchers direct stem cells to perform a specific function? Researchers supply cues to cells in the form of growth factors, small molecules, cell culture density, culture surface and biomaterial design. Cells respond to these cues by altering cellular processes such as cytoskeletal…Read more